Amiloride, a potassium sparing diuretic, inhibits adenosine A1 receptor-radioligand binding in calf and rat brain membranes in the low micromolar range. The drug interacted with the A1 receptor in a manner different from classical A1 ligands, but structure-activity relationship studies indicated that this inhibitory effect is not related to the ion transport inhibiting properties of amiloride (Garritsen et al., 1990a,b). In the present study, the question is addressed how amiloride interacts with the adenosine A1 receptor. Amiloride and two of its analogues, in concentrations equivalent to their Ki values in displacement studies, decrease the affinity of the A1 antagonist [3H]8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine, but not the maximal binding capacity of the radioligand. Furthermore, the dissociation rate of the receptor ligand complex is unaltered in the presence of amiloride or its analogues in a concentration exceeding the Ki value 10-fold. These characteristics argue for a purely competitive mode of interaction. The functional consequences of the interaction between amiloride analogues and the A1 receptor were investigated at the level of cyclic adenosine 3′,5′-monophosphate (cAMP) formation. The amiloride analogue 5-(N-butyl-N-methyl) amiloride (MBA) reversed A1-receptor mediated inhibition of forskolin-stimulated cAMP formation in rat fat cell membranes. In this model, the antagonist potency of MBA is ca 5 μM. This value is in fair agreement with a Ki value of 3.5 μM in binding assays under similar conditions. In conclusion, amiloride inhibits A1 receptor binding in an apparently competitive manner. This suggests that the binding sites of amiloride and the classic A1 receptor ligands may at least partially overlap. The fact that amiloride affects adenosine A1 receptors and a variety of other neurotransmitter receptors might be of importance for the understanding of the structure and function of receptor molecules. © 1992.
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